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Diversifying Your Self-Storage Services With the Inside Self-Storage World Expo

By Amy Campbell Comments

The greatest companies in the world have learned how to diversify, expand their reach, and target their marketing to achieve new pinnacles of success. A great example is the Coca-Cola Co. Rather than just sticking with one product—the signature Coke—the soda king has introduced new products over the years, created targeted marketing campaigns, and delved headlong into the International markets.

While Coca-Cola is a global giant, these business goals are essentially the same in every industry. All companies seek to create a valuable product or service they can target to a unique market.

There’s no better place to learn how to accomplish this than at the Inside Self-Storage World Expo, the industry’s biggest and most comprehensive tradeshow. This year’s fall show, Oct. 4-6 in Tacoma, Wash., will include five education tracks, four networking opportunities, four workshops and two days in the exhibit hall with more than 50 vendors offering a variety of products and services. Here are a just a few of the educational seminars that will help you diversify your business, enhance customer service and reach your target market.


There are a number of ways operators can diversify themselves in the market, including technology such as wireless door alarms and unique locks or kiosks, extended facility hours and, of course, customer service. Another option is offering complementary services and products. Here are a few seminars highlighting add-on profit centers.

  • Designing and Building Boat and RV Storage: Options and Financial Feasibility: Speaker Caesar Wright of Mako Steel Inc. will help operators determine if this niche service is right for their market. He’ll discuss trends, land and building requirements, and constructions costs.
  • Enhancing Your Self-Storage Facility With Portable-Storage Containers: Speakers Rod Bolls and E. George Johnson of Universal Storage Containers will demonstrate how operators can expand their facility by adding portable-storage containers. Learn about sizes, features and benefits, and how to leverage containers for maximum impact.
  • Solar Self-Storage 101: Technology, Costs, Financial Incentives and More: Speakers Bob Hayworth of Baja Construction Co. and Robin Heuer of Elevated Solar will discuss solar applications in self-storage using real-life case studies. Information on incentives and tax breaks will be included.
  • How to Turn Your Tenant-Insurance Program Into a Manager-Motivation Program: Speakers Harry Sleighel and Matt Schaller of Storage Property Protection will demonstrate how tenant insurance can protect customers while creating facility revenue.


This facet of business is one of the most critical components of every facility’s success. Marketing encompasses everything from print and online promotions to your facility’s customer service.  The ISS Expo offers a variety of seminars on the topic including:  

  • Power Marketing: A Mini Clinic for Self-Storage Operators: Speaker Tom Litton of Litton Property Management Inc. will lead a two-hour session covering a variety of marketing topics including outbound marketing, referrals, telephone-selling techniques and more.
  • Social-Media Marketing for the Faint of Heart: Speaker Gina Six Kudo of Cochrane Road Self Storage will demonstrate how operators can use social media to interact with current customers and use it as a marketing vehicle to attract new ones.
  • It's More Than Cookies and Coffee: Creating Exceptional Customer Experiences in Self-Storage: Speaker Anne Ballard of Universal Management Co.  will show attendees how to create a unique customer experience, increase referrals and lower the cost per lease.
  • SEO Survivor Guide: How to Outwit, Outplay and Outlast Your Competition: Speaker Julie Purcell of Storage Asset Management Inc. will offer a basic introduction to the world of websites and search engine optimization (SEO). Attendees will learn key terms, acronyms and concepts, and find out what design elements make a website successful.

Other Must-Attend Seminars

In addition to several new sessions and speakers, this year’s show also includes two exclusive tracks—one for self-storage owners, and another for Canadian operators and investors. The Owner’s Only track includes need-to-know information on cutting costs, manager compensation and staffing. In the Canadian track, attendees will get an overview of the market, including the financial scene, plus learn how to increase occupancy. Other must-attend seminars:

  • Your Rental Agreement … What Have You Missed? Making Important Changes for 2012 with speaker Jeffery Greenberger, partner with Greenberger, Katz & Norton LLP
  • Self-Storage State of the Industry 2011: An Overview for Investors with speaker Christian Sonne, senior managing director of the Self Storage Industry Group Cushman & Wakefield
  • Finding Your Pot of Gold: Real-Life Examples of Successful Self-Storage Projects with speakers Greg Moore, principal, Moore Design Associates, and Peter Schroeder, owner, Peter Schroeder Architect
  • An Overview of Finance Options for Self-Storage with speaker Georgia Ragsdale, president and CEO of Best American Financial Services

You don’t have to be a billion-dollar global company to make inroads in your market. Learn how to diversify your product, improve your customer service and hit your target market by attending the ISS Expo. For the complete agenda, visit

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